It’s just after 6am.
The house is silent, everyone is asleep, except me.
I have a whole hour before I have to get up. I toss and turn and contemplate my options.
Should get up now, or roll over and go back to sleep?
I know I should get up early because…
- I could get things done. I could fold all the washing, I could cook my kids pancakes for breakfast (on a school day! gasp!), I could wash the floor without anyone walking on it.
- I could do something for myself. I could exercise, or write in a journal, or draw, or take an uninterrupted shower.
- I could be organised. Think of how less rushed mornings could be if I had an extra hour to do everything?
- The house is silent, and it’s never, ever, silent. I should get up and just wander around and breath in the silence.
- I could be a ‘better person’. How many articles have I read that say ‘getting up early is one of the habits of highly successful people’? This one makes 47 I think.
Am I going to get up early?
Am I going to be that super organised, calm, productive person who wakes up an hour before they need to?
Who am I kidding?
I’m not going to get up early because…
- I’m tired thanks to my smallest child waking me up in the middle of the night, twice.
- It’s cold, and dark, and I don’t like cold or dark.
- I’m tired due to my oldest child having a crisis at 10pm that needed sorting.
- No matter how early I get up, or how organised I try to be, it is always a mad rush to get out the door on time anyway. What is with that?
- I’m tired because the only time I get to have an actual conversation with my husband that is not about who is picking or taking which child to what event is at 11pm.
- If I get up one of the kids will hear me and ruin the whole silence and ‘me time’ thing with their talking and ‘needing stuff’ thing.
- I’m tired because I really really wanted to finish the book I am reading… it’s only taken me six months to read it, and still I fell asleep with 10 pages to go.
- If I get up I’ll have to face the piles of washing, and the sticky floors, and whatever is making that weird smell in the bathroom, and I’d rather avoid those things as long as possible.
- I’m tired because I’ve been functioning on not enough sleep for the past 11 years. Yes, my oldest children are 11.
- Did I already mention I am tired?
Today I stayed in bed.
The idea of getting up early does seem productive, somewhat enjoyable, and even almost possible some days, but other days it feels like a heavy load of ‘should’ and ‘if only’.
I have four kids.
I am tired.
I don’t need any more ‘shoulds’ in my life right now.
So I’m dropping ‘get up early’ from my ‘should list’, and I’m moving it to my ‘sometimes, when I can, list’.
Sometimes I am exhausted, and it’s dark and cold, and I’m staying put in bed till I absolutely have to get up, and I will enjoy every minute of it.
Sometimes when I’ve had enough sleep (and it does happen occasionally now that my kids are all getting older, there is hope), and the weather is warmer, I’ll get up early, and sit in the sunshine, and breathe in the silence, and prepare for the day.
Staying in bed does not make me lazy or unproductive.
Getting up early isn’t the answer to all my problems.
But getting up before my kids sometimes is a special event that I will enjoy, not enforce.
I will tackle each day as it comes and each morning in whatever way I can, with one less should.
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Naturally, yes I am an early riser however these days I can sleep through an alarm because of tiredness. Sometimes that extra time in bed is exactly what you need even if it is just so you can finish that book before the household rises plus you can enjoy the quiet from bed to.
You are right… I can enjoy the peace while still in bed. I like to spend the time day dreaming!
Only out of necessity — if I got up later, I would be the last one in the shower… which would make me the one with no hot water left, :-). (As in: me. The one who gets up first to make breakfast and cook lunch for my kids to go to school — no way will I tolerate only getting cold water, lol)!
But I do find that the earlier I get up, the more time I have to actually enjoy my cup of coffee _and_ getting everything done on time… which in turn makes me feel more satisfied throughout the rest of the day.).
But it doesn’t happen all the time… sometimes Plan B just has to be enough, too, :-). (As long as I am the first one in the shower).
Ah yes… I’d do just about anything for a nice hot shower! LOL
I tell myself every night I will get up early to write all the fabulous blog posts I have in me because 5 am is my only window of opportunity really. But I don’t get up early for ALL the same reasons you don’t lol! Needless to say that my blog doesn’t get the attention I would like it to. Would be grateful for any tips you have as to how you fit it all in ;-)
To be honest… I don’t fit it all in. I don’t do nearly half the things I’d like to do with my blog, and I don’t do lots of other things, including getting up early – actually here’s a blog post on exactly this topic
I just keep making plans and remembering to do the things I enjoy and just put one foot in front of the other. Good luck!
After only 2 years of trying every day to be a “good” mom and get out of bed before my child, I quite. I’ve given in to my natural tendency as a night owl and just doing what worked for me when I was in high school and college: prep everything the night before, do “me time” stuff at night. Yes, sometimes I pay for it if my kiddo gets up a lot during the night, or when my fun new insomnia plays up and I can’t sleep PERIOD. But I’m actually a lot happier this way, rather than feeling like a failure every day because I can’t get out of bed before 6:30. And I’m STILL organized for myself, my child, and my husband. Nights work just as well as early mornings.
I love early mornings! It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something (Even if I don’t!) I like the quiet that I can do my morning routine without someone wanting clean underwear or a “snack”! The flip side of this is that I am falling asleep watching Jeopardy at 7:00 PM!! We can’t have everything! xo
I don’t get up early, as much as I would like to. 7am is my natural wake up time, always has been. Besides the natural wake up thing, it doesn’t matter what time I get up, my kids wake when I do 9times out of 10. I can be as quiet as possible, but I think they smell me, because they ALWAYS wake up! That, and most of the time I can get just as much done late at night as I can early in the morning. The one thing I would like to do more of is to take walks in the morning when I actually have daylight.
Hi – I completely understand the whole tired thing. I was recently quite ill which made me tired all the time (for about 2 years). It’s so hard to see life clearly when you’re that exhausted but life marches on regardless – that list of shoulds is such a weight on your shoulders. Yay to ditching the shoulds – ditch them all I say. Who needs ’em? Dirty floor – it will get cleaned eventually and no one’s going to die.
Having said all that, I’ve now turned into one of those women I was sick of reading about all the time. I was put on the right medicine and I got my life back – no more tiredness all the time. And now…. I get up at 5:30am (sorry….) Not sure if this will continue when the kids go back to school but I found it was and has been essential to my peace of mind and sense of calm. I take the dogs for a walk while the sun is coming up (I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the countryside), hit my desk by 7 and get about an hours’ work done before the kids get up and start with their demands….
Waking up early has been a gift to myself – that quiet time to gather my thoughts is now as essential to me as breathing. If I don’t have that quiet start to the day I feel like I’ve cheated myself somehow and am always playing catch up, always one step behind.
It’s summer here, so getting up early is easier when the sun rises at 5. As I said, not sure how this will change when winter comes and it doesn’t get light till 7, and I have to take the dogs for a walk in the dark.
But I guess my body is now so in the habit of waking up at 5:30 that I do it anyway no matter what time I go to bed.
That’s my own experience – but I certainly get how hard things are when you’re just tired of people making demands on you, and the long list of things you need to do/should be doing just never seems to get any shorter.
Just for today – do one really nice thing for yourself. xxx
I wish I had the luxury of lazy summer mornings but unfortunately our household still need to get up and have a routine as there was only about 4 days of ‘holidays’ for us :-(
I say enjoy it whilst you can and yes, going back to school will be hell regardless of trying to get back into routine early so don’t rush it!!